Sand trucks traversing Linden Highway major offenders of axle overload – survey finds

first_imgA recent axle load survey conducted of trucks which traverse the Soesdyke- Linden Highway has unearthed major axle overloading by heavy-duty trucks. The survey was conducted by a design and consultancy team attached to Beston/SRKN’gineering, which has been contracted by the Public Infrastructure Ministry to conduct feasibility studies and detailed designs for the major rehabilitation of the Highway.A team attached to the Public Infrastructure Ministry recently visited the office of the Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) Regional Democratic Council (RDC) along with a design team where various aspects of the project were presented to Regional Chairman Renis Morian and Councillors. These included an overview of the project, scope of work and initial activities and findings. Project Director and team leader attached to SRKN, Stuart Hughes, explained that one of the key aspects conducted was an axle load survey which was done on both sides of the highway – at Amelia’s Ward and Soesdyke. In presenting the initial findings, Hughes said 36 hours of continuous count was carried out with heavy-duty trucks which were weighed. It was observed that sand trucks were major defaulters.“With the assistance of the Guyana Police Force, we stopped the trucks and we directed them unto these weigh pads. And the weigh pads basically wirelessly measured the weight of these axles and transmitted it to the laptop. So we were able to get the actual load of each and every axle for each and every one of these trucks which we stopped at these two locations,” he noted.Hughes continued that a total of 1199 to 1200 trucks were weighed at the end of a 72-hour period, with a majority being sand trucks at the Soesdyke end. In explaining the relevance of the exercise, Hughes said in designing a road one has to assume a certain axle load, which is 8.2 tonnes. However, he noted that a sand truck at Soesdyke recorded the heaviest at 19 tonnes. These trucks, he pointed out, recorded higher than fuel and logging trucks. Hughes said the heaviest logging truck recorded was 16 tonnes axle load.“The heaviest truck that we recorded which was down at the Soesdyke end was actually 19 tonnes. Going into the Roads Act Chapter 51:02, the Regulation which I found… the actual legal limit as it stands is 7.2 tonnes… basically for every tonne that is actually heavier than the design limit… the damage that’s being done… A 16-tonne truck would be doing 22 times the actual damage. Nineteen tonnes you’re up to thirty something times the actual damage. So, we can design for this, but the question is we’ll end up with a very, very expensive pavement… It would be a very, very expensive undertaking,” he noted.Hughes explained that the company is not required to look at the legal implications of this, but rather it is a task for the Ministry. He added however that this gives an idea of what is happening on the roadway. The Project Director said when the company submits its pavement design report, it would have to seek guidance from the Ministry as to whether it should go ahead to design based on the findings, or whether it intends to put in place a much more active weight limit enforcement programme on the roadway.Implications/recommendationsIn explaining the implications, Hughes pointed out further that the company is required to make recommendations. He also called for more control mechanisms to be put in place in moving forward.“That also is part of what we have to do, we have to recommend a weight control programme to the Ministry…There clearly must be some control of these trucks that are traversing the highway. It has economic implications, because if it continues like this…you may have a situation where your pavement, your road does not actually last…”, he explained.Social and Gender Specialist Vanda Radzick who is working along with the team in giving her input made the recommendation for overloaded trucks to be upgraded, noting that this is safer and in keeping with policy.“One of the things at a policy level may be to encourage these single axle overloaded trucks to modernise and have a double axle to save the road and distribute the weight. And it’s safer and it’s more within the law. So, law and policy – the designer may make recommendations, but at the end of the day the engineers and designers, that’s not their jurisdiction. It still has to go back to enforcement, law and policy”, she outlined.Hughes said based on observations, there is a solid foundation to work with but the company just has to come up with a design solution to build on it. He noted that in his 25 plus year career as a civil engineer he has not seen such a fixed pavement as the one he’s seen on the highway.He said cracking was discovered on the asphalted concrete layer which will be dealt with. According to the Project Director, the company has also conducted a geotechnical investigation in order to propose a solution. He added that it has to conduct a technical and economic feasibility report and an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment which will assist the Ministry in obtaining a permit from the Environmental Protection Agency. (Utamu Belle)last_img read more

Exodus Theory Inherits the Wind

first_imgAn old theory that the Exodus story occurred because of natural winds has surfaced again.  It seeks to provide a purely natural explanation for what the Old Testament records as a miracle.    Two atmospheric scientists from Boulder, Colorado, Carl Drews and Weiqing Han, referenced a theory by Doron Nof (see his website) that briefly made a splash in 1992 on TV with model demonstrations of high winds blowing back the waters off a submerged sandbar.  Some believers tended to think this might give a plausible explanation for the Exodus story, while unbelievers tended to discount the Exodus story as elaboration of a natural phenomenon.  Drews and Han drew from Nof’s idea, which was elaborated on by Russian scientists Naum Voltzinger and Alexei Androsov, with new models and experiments: “A suite of model experiments are performed to demonstrate a new hydrodynamic mechanism that can cause an angular body of water to divide under wind stress, and to test the behavior of our study location and reconstructed topography.”  They also pointed to a new site for the crossing on the western Sinai Peninsula rather than the Gulf of Aqaba.  Between the Lake of Tanis and the Nile, they calculated, a land passage 5 km wide might have opened up for 4-7 hours under winds of 28-33 m/s (62-74 mph), but they admitted, “these stronger winds may render walking too difficult for a mixed group of people.”  Their theory was published in PLoS One.1    As to whether this provides a plausible natural explanation for the Red Sea crossing, Drews and Han were restrained in their paper: “Wind setdown is the drop in water level caused by wind stress acting on the surface of a body of water for an extended period of time.  As the wind blows, water recedes from the upwind shore and exposes terrain that was formerly underwater.  Previous researchers have suggested wind setdown as a possible hydrodynamic explanation for Moses crossing the Red Sea, as described in Exodus 14.”2  But in the popular press, they drew the connection more directly.  Drews was quoted in Live Science saying, “People have always been fascinated by this Exodus story, wondering if it comes from historical facts.  What this study shows is that the description of the waters parting indeed has a basis in physical laws.”  Similar, in Science Daily, the subtext was that the Biblical miracle can be explained naturally: “Computer Modeling Applies Physics to Red Sea Escape Route” was its headline; Live Science titled its story, “Parting of Red Sea Jibes With Natural Laws.”  Indeed, Brett Israel in his write-up was ready to exchange Gods: “Mother Earth could have parted the Red Sea, hatching the great escape described in the biblical book of Exodus, a new study finds.”1.  Carl Drews and Weiqing Han, “Dynamics of Wind Setdown at Suez and the Eastern Nile Delta,” Public Library of Science: One, 5(8): e12481. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012481.2.  See Exodus 14 (ESV) at BibleGateway.com.There’s baloney in this story, but first, some disclaimers.  It’s true the authors and reporters never denied the Exodus story was miraculous or called it a myth.  It’s also true that Biblical miracles can be accomplished with natural means (example: the Jordan crossing made possible by a landslide upriver, as described in Joshua 3).  These become, then, miracles of timing of natural events.  For all we know, the authors respect the historicity of the Bible’s account and may even wish to shed light on its miraculous character.  Lastly, studying the power of wind and its ability to create land bridges under specific circumstances is honorable scientific practice.    The baloney is in two inferences: (1) that explaining a Biblical story “naturally” is superior to accepting a miracle.  That assumption begs all kinds of questions: what is meant by natural and miracle?  What is meant by a scientific explanation?  There are nuances of coordination between natural law and divine action that are glossed over in the broad-brush assumption that natural law trumps miracles (see joke).  A false impression is promulgated that all Biblical miracles can be subsumed under “natural explanations,” with a corollary that the Biblical accounts themselves are extensions of normal, natural phenomena that ancient people exaggerated and interpreted as miracles.    The second problem is this: it would take more faith to believe the “natural” explanation in this tale than the straightforward Biblical account in Exodus 14.  Yes, God did use a “strong east wind all night” as part of his action (v. 21), but the Bible goes on to say the waters became “a wall to them on their right hand and on their left” (v. 22).  Moreover, the timing of this amazingly specific wind (if that is all that was involved) – a finely-tuned wind that could blow waters left and right and maintain dry land in the midst of the sea (v. 22) without blowing women and children into the water with hurricane force gusts – was so precisely timed as to begin when Moses stretched out his hand over the sea (v. 21), allow all the Israelites to cross, then stop exactly when Moses stretched out his hand again (v. 26), drowning the entire army of Pharaoh.  Is the theory of Drews and Han, and their predecessors, somehow an improvement?  By any account, it’s a miracle anyway taking their theory, so where is the net gain in “natural” explanation?    The Bible is explicit that this was an actual miracle under the direct purpose and intervention of God.  Throughout the Old Testament, the prophets and psalmists recalled this extraordinary example of God’s power to protect His people, by opening a path in the “great deep” for them to cross.  If such things happened normally from time to time, any Jewish teen could see through it, telling Mom and Dad, “What’s the big deal?”  It would be a miracle if the Exodus story lasted more than a generation.  If you are a Bible believer, avoid getting sucked into the idea that these so-called “natural” explanations of Biblical miracles help make them more plausible.  At best, they still require a lot of faith and leave many questions begging.  At worst, they are paths to unsophisticated skepticism and leave many questions begging.  Be more charitable than Science Daily and Live Science; feed the beggars.(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Lake Gunn Fishermans Rest (Milford Rd, Fiordland) – Geocache of the Week

first_img SharePrint RelatedUltramafic Magnificence – Geocache of the WeekMarch 7, 2018In “Community”Lamanai High (GC19505) – GEOCACHE OF THE WEEK – January 10, 2013January 9, 2013In “Community”GCC#134 Little Red Riding Hood — Geocache of the WeekAugust 28, 2019In “Community” Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world.Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.Share with your Friends:More The lush, green moss dangling from the trees drape over the hiking trail on the way to a quaint hidden resting spot with a geocache. This ancient, red beech forest has an array of bird species, hiking paths, and glimpses of the eye-popping fjords between the trees. This Geocache of the Week serves as another dazzling example of the locations where geocaching can unexpectedly take you. In the heart of New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park, the Lake Gunn Nature Walk is a whimsical, winding trail through an ancient growth forest. Reminiscent of a fairy tale, the nature walk fully immerses you in a landscape you thought you could only imagine. Parts of the trail were used by fishermen before it became a protected area. Great fishermen have the ability to find secret fishing spots, and this cache leads you to a spot known only to a few.For this cache, part of the battle is finding the right smaller path among the green foliage. Choosing the right path brings you to ground zero, but the hardest part is deciding whether to take in the view or to search for the cache. Nearby are a few trees that extend above the ground and one of them holds the cache container.The scenic views of high cliffs jutting from the water’s surface are only unique to a few places in the world. If you’re angling for geocaches and happen to be nearby these fjords, make sure Lake Gunn Fishermans Rest is one of them. Difficulty:2Terrain:1.5 Location:South Island, New ZealandS 44° 53.521′ E 168° 04.754′ Traditional CacheGCHW72by kiwitonitalast_img read more